Ousted White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci was only on the job 11 days, but that didn’t stop him from offering some unsolicited advice about President Donald Trump’s refusal to outright rebuke white supremacists for sparking the violence that left one woman dead and dozens of people injured in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday.
“I wouldn’t have recommended that statement,” Scaramucci told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “I think he needed to be much harsher as it related to the white supremacists and the nature of that. I applaud General [H.R.] McMaster for calling it out for what it is. It’s actually terrorism.”
After learning white supremacists were believed to be the sole perpetrators of violence during their “Unite the Right” rally, Trump issued a statement condemning what he deemed an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
We will continue to follow developments in Charlottesville, and will provide whatever assistance is needed. We are ready, willing and able. pic.twitter.com/mCTYBgUePi— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Aside from a failure to specifically condemn the white supremacist base that has been responsible for a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, immigrants and other marginalized groups since his election, many took issue with Trump’s perception of hatred and bigotry being displayed by “many sides.”
White supremacist websites and media outlets essentially praised Trump’s failure to condemn them, with the Daily Stormer writing, “Trump’s comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.”
White supremacist Daily Stormer gives rave review of Trump's reaction. pic.twitter.com/mJYMCOrwnS— Terry Milewski (@CBCTerry) August 12, 2017
Given Trump’s preference for using Twitter, other users on the medium were quick to point out what came across as a rather lukewarm condemnation from the Commander in Chief.
The new statement from POTUS doesn't address David Duke claiming his supporters are responsible for Trump Victory-why not? #Charlottesville— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) August 13, 2017
Trump drops rhetorical ball on #Charlottesville; and gets ready to gin up intervention in Venezuela, to distract from Russia investigation.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 13, 2017
For those who have been following the timeline of neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates and the so-called “Alt-Right,” seemingly committing violent acts against minorities in the name of supporting Trump, the condemnation mirrored similar remarks Trump made in November of 2016.
“I am so saddened to hear that,” Trump told Lesley Stahl during a 60 Minutes interview about harassment of Latinos and Muslims. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it—if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.’”
Scaramucci chalked Trump’s actions up to a desire to “do the opposite of what the media thinks he’s gonna do.”
You can watch the full interview with George Stephanopoulos above.